Friday, May 26, 2006

Someone Listens to me, part 2

Okay, so maybe lightning does strike twice. Earlier this week I discovered that D-Link was making a wireless print server that also connected you to the scanner function of your MFP. So that you can print and scan wirelessly. Since one of my pet peeves have been fulfilled, it was only a matter of time before someone else solved another one of my tech pain points.

What is my next tech pain point - digital music. My wife and I are not audiophiles, yet we still listen to music. Our kids, on the other hand, are big music buffs. They listen to their favorite albums all of the time. Of course, since each one of them wants to listen to something different in a different room of the house, it means we need multiple CD players - one in the living room, in each of our bedrooms, and the den, etc. Thankfully there are CD burners and the like so that I don't need to buy more than one copy of each album. But, as anyone with little kids knows, the CDs are always getting scratched. I also have various music scattered on computers around the house as well.

I would be so much easier if I had a single digital system that let me have one central digital music system and wireless satellites around the house that could access the same music but each pllay their own playlist.

While Sonos has something like this, a new company called Olive has developed a really solid solution. Their Symphony music player (above) is a household uber system that work with standard wi-fi (even acts as a wi-fi gateway) and in addition to its own 80gb hard drive, it can also access music stored on PCs and macs around your house. Heck, it can even act as your wi-fi router and gateway and has a 4-port ethernet switch for any other ethernet devices you have in your rack. It comes with a built-in CD burner so that you can rip your existing CD's and burn new ones.

What's more is that they have another component called sonata which is a a wireless receiver that can be placed in any room and access all of the music you have on your symphony. This system is one of the first that I have seen to meet all of my music needs and desires. Well, all of them, save one - the price point. The Symphony costs $899 and Sonatas are $199 each. (Olive also has two-higher end music systems that cap out at $2400). For the config I want, it would probably run me about $1500. Hardly chump change.

However, I'll hold out in the hopes that folks from Olive will stumble across my blog and give me one to review (okay, so I will need to return it, but it will be fun to play with).

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